On April 25, the Supreme Court of the United States will begin hearing oral arguments about the constitutionality of Arizona’s S.B. 1070 law, a law that broadly targets undocumented immigrants. Many across the country, including Unitarian Universalists and other people of faith, anxiously await the outcome of this case, which will likely be announced around the time when we convene in Phoenix for justice GA. This post offers a prayer for Unitarian Universalist individuals and congregations that calls us to pay attention to events at the Supreme Court, in Arizona, and elsewhere where such legislation has been enacted or is being contemplated. Written by Rev. Marta I. Valentin, this prayer speaks to our hearts and seeks to shore up our resolve to stand on the side of love with those whose lives are most at stake. Read more about the case before the court and follow the arguments online. – Ed.
Justices of the United States Supreme Court
Spirit of Compassion
Isn’t it amazing
how we crave to know an outcome
before its time
even as we accept
that we cannot know
how anything will go?
We do not know if the mounds of obstacles
will become dirt cleared away
or earth made into mountain…
We do not know if fresh air will degenerate
into a stagnant suffocation
or be sucked out of lives
longing to breath freely and easily…
if the deserts will spring a true oasis
or continue to offer a false vision of survival…
if the shores will be flowing invitations
into unfathomable freedoms
or a fearfully ebbed withdrawal
of even the tiniest hospitality…
We who walk on ground taken for granted
we who speak of an Earth that has no borders
ask for guidance as we aid those in need
as well as those who would obstruct our care.
Spirit of Compassion
strengthen our resolve to carry forth
regardless of the reality of the decisions
made to seemingly thwart our efforts.
Let us, in one grounded body
strong in our Unitarian Universalist faith
in solidarity with those whose lives
are most at stake
resolve never to give up this fight for them
nor for our country.
Let ours be the voices that demand
a true accounting of these legal human beings.
Let ours be the hearts that resolve
whether through light or dark times
to stay the course
no matter what
no matter how long.
Let our love be the kind they have been waiting for.
Marta I. Valentin
April 6, 2012
Rev. Marta I. Valentín is the minister at First Church Unitarian in Littleton, Massachusetts
Beautiful — thank you, Rev. Valentin for this — comforting and inspiring!
Thank you Rev. Valentin for expressing what so many of feel and aspire to resolve for all people, all “races,” all nations. But especially here, for our sisters and brothers suffering injustice and denial of human rights; here in the country that has promised our immigrant forebears and ourselves, whether we came forcibly or sought freedom and opportuniity, equal justice under the law, a society of equal opportunity and a voice in the great decisions of our governance. We pray these things be true and that justice and human compassion prevail and move us to greater liberty and justice for all.
I wish the justices could see the prayer.
Not only the Unitarian Universalists, but all who believe in justice and compassion for all immigrant populations should join in prayer. Thank you for this beautiful poem prayer.